I started my freshman year at American University in a fragile state. I was still reeling from the pain of my parents' divorce, and I struggled with an eating disorder. Though my parents raised me in the church, I wanted to make a fresh start in a new place as my own person. I wasn't sure how, or if, God fit into that.
During one of the Welcome Week activities I spoke with a girl named Heather at the Chi Alpha booth. She invited me to her small group, and for some reason I decided to go. That one decision connected me with the community of AU Chi Alpha for the next four years.
I couldn't believe how honest and vulnerable and loving the girls in my small group were about their struggles and their lives. I realized that if I wanted to be whole and confident, I had to stop hiding who I really was from other people. Spending time with Christians who lived fully and loved fully helped me learn that I was capable of that too, if I would only let God transform me.
As time went by, my experiences in Chi Alpha facilitated healing and restoration. Through small group and great friendships, God gave me the support and love necessary to lead me into positions of responsibility and leadership both within and outside of Chi Alpha. Though I had a rough start, college ended up being the most liberating and amazing time of my life.
God used the ministry of Chi Alpha to impact me and change my life's trajectory at a crucial time. He's just great at using people, like you and me, to reach each other at the most important times in our stories… which is a really humbling thing. I want to give back what I've been given in whatever way I can, so my post-grad plans are to give a year to missions in Granada, Spain! I'll be working with college students at the university there through a non-profit called Raices. God used Chi Alpha to write a better story in my life; I feel really blessed to be a part of something that gives other students that same opportunity.